I’ve thought a lot about writing those words and this post. This blog is supposed to be about choosing butterflies, choosing to do things that are hard. And for the last year and a half, I was choosing comfortable.
My job had gotten comfortable. The thing that was supposed to give my life purpose was comfortable. The answer to “what do you do?” was comfortable.
How can I write a blog about doing hard things when one of the biggest things in my life was so freakin’ comfortable?
Because comfortable feels…well…comfortable.
I knew my job and my organization inside and out. I could do it well without over-exerting myself.
My commute was 15 minutes.
My job paid me what I needed, gave me lots of vacation time, some flexibility, and a great work/life balance.
I liked the people…a lot. I worked with people that had slowly become very close friends. I’m someone who values relationships above most other things, so getting to show up at work and spend the day with close friends felt really good.
I had been in the same job for 6 years, 7 months and 1 day. That’s longer than a lot of marriages. Kids that were born when I started my job are about to start grade 1. There are very few things in my adult life that have ever been that consistent.
And leaving that consistency, those friends, that balance, that comfort, felt too scary to consider. So I stayed…simply out of the fear of leaving.
But I was bored. I was restless. I was frustrated. I let little things drive me crazy. I let big things ruin my day. My career was stagnant and I was becoming okay with that. I was complacent. I was no longer the engaged employee who was proud of her work.
This meant I was down on myself all the time. My self-confidence was seeping away. I felt stuck. I wondered if all I was capable of was a job that was comfortable. And who was I to write a blog about choosing butterflies when I was absolutely choosing the opposite?
Finally I knew I couldn’t keep choosing comfortable. I can’t even really pinpoint what did it. I do remember being on vacation and saying aloud that it was time to actively change this situation. Maybe it was the break from the monotony to get that perspective. Maybe it was too many drinks. But regardless, I knew it was time.
That began an incredibly challenging season. Job searches are hard. There’s a lot of waiting and a lot of rejection, two things I don’t handle well. I questioned my abilities and my worth. I again wondered if all I was capable of was this easy job. I doubted my judgment and didn’t trust myself to make good decisions. All this while my current workplace faced one of the most difficult times in its history. I was in this liminal space where staying and leaving both felt impossible.
But I made it to the other side. And in a few weeks, I start a job that I’m so excited about, doing work that feels important, fun and challenging.
And that’s scary.
It’s scary to face a job that will push me out of my comfort zone.
It’s scary to take back control of my career path and have the opportunity to grow.
It’s scary to be the “new person” again.
It’s scary to brace myself for a lot of uncertainty and finding my footing.
It’s scary to think about working with people that aren’t my close friends. It’s scary to leave my close friends.
But this is choosing butterflies. This is choosing the challenge over the comfort.
Here we go.